Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Story Orgy Monday… Title? Um…Slither on Over Here (??) pt 1 #storyorgy #blogstory

Okay, I’m late to the party, but we will persevere…and hopefully catch up. :)

This week’s prompt:  open the box…

Slither on Over Here
Serious working title…trust me! lol
Part 1
copyright © 2015 Havan Fellows

Chapter One
August 31, 1991

Marvin Sutters pumped his arms faster, believing that the quicker they moved the faster his legs would take him over the uneven floor of the woods. His adrenaline blasted through his system giving him the false security that his legs had a mind of their own. He suddenly believed they would carry him away from the danger in the rear and to the safety of his bedroom a few thousand yards ahead. He just needed to get to the clearing that functioned as his backyard. Only to the clearing. They would never follow him there with the threat of a parental unit seeing them.
He chanced a peek over his shoulder and saw the yellow and brown sets of heads bouncing between the trees and brush. How did they catch up so quickly? He had a seriously good head start. He spotted them waiting at the end of the street and took off straight to the woods. They hadn’t expected that, Marvin was somewhat known as a scaredy cat. This time he was determined not to be hassled and have to hide the evidence from his folks yet again.
He was born in the only house built next to the huge forest, literally born in that house. From listening to his father you would think Marvin was an overachiever who didn’t want to wait for his mama to get to the hospital before he came into this world. His mom had a slightly different version of the events, and it included his father being too freaked out to find the car keys and get her to the hospital—no matter how many times she told him to open the box by the front door where she threw everything. When Marvin continuously brought up the point that they could’ve called an ambulance they both scoffed at the idea—ambulances were meant for emergencies and birth didn’t land on that list. Eleven years later and his folks still loved telling that story.
But ever since his childhood he feared these woods. If people were meant to live with the trees and bugs and nature-like things there wouldn’t be development and buildings and lots and lots of concrete to keep the creepy crawlers away from his feet. At least when Marvin stood on a sidewalk he could easily see anything approaching him from the ground, here in the woods they could ambush him at every turn.
Bad idea to think about that stuff right now. The thought that he could be running on creepy crawlies and whatnot made him look down at the ground. He broke his stride in doing so and tried to two step a bit to get it back, causing him to trip over his own feet. His upper body kept propelling forward while his feet remained deadlocked together at a standstill. The ending result was him pinwheeling his arms like a lunatic right before face planting in a pile of dried twigs and leaves.
He grimaced at all the places on his face and arms that stung from his skin being torn open by the debris. Nothing serious or scar-worthy, but darned if he wouldn’t be sore for a few days.
“Look! The mama’s boy can’t even run without tripping over himself!”
Marvin dug the toes of his sneakers into the dirt and tried to propel himself back up into a run. A small rock to the side of his head knocked him off balance and he fell back to the earth, twisting in mid-plummet to land on his butt. He glanced up at the boys and tried to crab walk backwards away from them. He covered about three feet before his head bounced against a tree trunk. Great, another war wound.
“Did you see that throw? I nailed his ass!”
They all laughed as they slowed to a saunter and made their way over to him. Sam, the leader, jerked his fist back and snarled, “You made me get my new sneaks dirty.”
Marvin cringed and slipped from his spot against the tree to land flat on his back staring up at them all. Sam lowered his arm to laugh at the sight Marvin was sure he made.
“Yeah. Who gave you permission to run from us? Respect, wussy boy, it’s all about respect.” The biggest one, Tadd, cracked his knuckles and stepped even with Sam.
“Go away! I’ll tell. I’ll tell them all it was you this time! I won’t keep my mouth shut anymore!” Marvin shouted at them.
His eyes watered up from all the emotions he couldn’t hold back. He was pissed at himself for falling. He was scared of these creeps that always knocked him around every day. He was hurt on his face, and could feel the blood trickle from his temple down the side of his face from that rock they threw. But most of all, he was angry that he couldn’t defend himself.
“Look Sam, wussy boy is gonna cry. Are you gonna piss your pants too? Come on, wet those jeans boy, I wanna see you piss yourself.”
Sam leaned forward with his hands on his knees. He was so close that Marvin could smell the garlic from their pizza school lunch today.
“You aren’t gonna tell no one about this. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Scaredy cats like you aren’t man enough to open your stupid mouths. You have to pay for dirtying up my new shoes, you know that right?”
A noise from Marvin’s right made everyone freeze.
“What was that?” Tadd backed up a step.
“It was nothing. Tadd you go see what’s in there.” Sam slapped him on the chest.
“I ain’t going in there. You go, Sam.”
“Screw that! You’re the biggest, you go.”
A hiss came from close to Marvin’s ear and pure terror froze him to the ground. Maybe if he didn’t move whatever made that noise—and he guessed he knew exactly what made that godforsaken noise—wouldn’t notice him sprawled out on the ground.
A yellow snake slithered out from the brush, zig zagging through the dried leaves and twigs. It made a beeline for the standing boys, slowly showing its bright body inch by inch. Marvin realized his error in judging the color. This snake’s hue wasn’t a simple yellow. If possible it looked almost golden, with deeper yellow highlights all over it. Its head was thick and tapered to a pointy angle were its forked tongue flicked out of repeatedly.
The snake almost looked like he had a purpose as he slithered in front of each bully individually. Forcing them to scream and jump back numerous feet to stay out of striking distance, if this snake was a striker. Marvin didn’t recall ever seeing one that looked like this one.
“Holy shit! How long is that mudda?”
Marvin looked back to where it came from and noticed its body wasn’t slimming any. At least eight feet of it was exposed already and the body was still as thick as his arm.
In Marvin’s mind he was shooting to his feet and running home, away from the bullies and this new terror that they brought down on him. But his mind always worked a lot quicker than his body, which deemed it wasn’t moving a freaking muscle until this thing slithered right on past him for good.
It looked like that was exactly what the snake would do, too. The bullies had all of its attention. When they were all over twenty feet away the snake curled back in on itself and stopped.
Marvin stared at it.
It stared at him.
It was completely out in the open now and easily measured the length of Marvin’s bedroom plus some. Marvin had a big room.
Time stood still for Marvin. He thought he should be seeing his life flash before him now or something. He was staring a demon in the eyes, shouldn’t that signal the end? No sound came from the woods, no wind blew and no animals made their presence known. Nothing existed outside of Marvin and this monster.
The monster moved forward toward him. When it slithered over his leg he visualized himself kicking it away, but again his body didn’t obey his mind.
It made its way up his thigh and paused at his crotch. Marvin almost laughed when Shel Silverstein’s anaconda poem zipped through his mind. Terror was the only thing holding his hysterics in.
The snake moved up his chest, a majority of its thick heavy body pooling in his lap. It was so close that its forked tongue snaked over his nose, no pun intended.
It pulled its body on top of Marvin the best it could, but it was so huge and heavy that it couldn’t completely fit on him. Coiling itself up it raised over Marvin easily by four or so feet and turned to the bullies that stood and watched.
The hissing noise that came from the monster rattled the leaves in the trees and wrenched screams from the boys’ throats. They all turned simultaneously and ran like the devil himself licked their heels.
Marvin felt a warm trickle run down his thigh to wet his butt and the tears finally flowed. He was gonna die and he pissed himself just like the boys wanted. He didn’t want his folks to find him like this. He didn’t want to be humiliated to the whole town.
The snake jerked on him and lowered himself. Its tongue flicked over Marvin’s crotch a few then he stared at Marvin for a couple seconds before it quickly moved off of Marvin and back to the brush where it came from. Its exit was faster than any movements it had done since showing itself.
Marvin wanted to curl up in the fetal position and bawl like the wussy boy he knew himself to be, but something stopped him.
So what if he cried? So what if he pissed his jeans a little? Those boys ran. When faced with the monster they ran. He didn’t. He faced the monster and he survived, he was more a man than those bullies would ever be.
He jumped up on wobbly legs and slowly backed away from where the snake hid. He may have been brave but he still wasn’t stupid. And if he raced home quick enough he could get cleaned up before his folks got home and no one would have to know just how scared he had been. 

To be cont’d…

The fun is never over with just one turn—we are the Story Orgy™ remember *winks*—so head over to the next blog and enjoy multiples with us…

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

J. Leigh Bailey gives us Reckless Hope @JenniWrites @PridePromo @CarinaPress

A moment with J. Leigh Bailey and a new release

Reckless Hope
Series: Letting Go book 2 – can be read as standalone
J. Leigh Bailey
Release date: August 24, 2015

J. Leigh Bailey kicks ass!
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you so much for having me! I’m an office drone by day in the Chicagoland area, and by night I’m the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBTQ romance. RECKLESS HOPE is the second book in my Letting Go series, and is an opposites attract story centered around two characters who have to overcome the stresses and disappointments of their past to build a happy relationship together. And, while doing this, they have to figure out who they are and, ultimately, what they want for their future.
Today I’m going to share with you what is, to this day, the highlight of my writing career. It goes back a few years, back when I hadn’t yet been published in novel-length fiction. I’d had some short stories published in anthologies, but I was insecure enough to believe that the stores didn’t count for some reason.
In 2012 I attended my very first Romantic Times Booklovers Convention held in Chicago. It was awesome and overwhelming and crazy and everything it should be. I argued with myself the whole time about whether to attend the craft workshops or the fan events. Seeing so many of the authors I’ve been reading for years was amazing. I totally encourage any writer or fan of romantic fiction to attend this conference at least once. The themed parties alone are worth the price of admission. But I digress.
When you register for RT, you have to indicate whether you are a Published Author, an Aspiring Author or a Reader. Like I mentioned above, I wasn’t really sure where I fit, so I chose Aspiring Author. The cool thing about being an Aspiring Author is that the Published Authors (and almost anyone else) would ask you what you write. I always said the same thing: “I’ve had some short stories published, mostly horror and paranormal, but I’m working on a Young Adult romance….”
On the day of the big book fair (where I didn’t have to be “author”, I could simply be “fan”, I stood in line for an autograph from the incomparable J. R. Ward. When it was my turn to get an autograph, she noticed my Aspiring Author badge and asked me what I wrote. When I gave her my standard answer, she looked at me and demanded, “Why doesn’t your badge say Published Author?”
I stammered something about not being sure if my short stories counted and then she reached out, pulled my badge from my lanyard, took her Sharpie marker and crossed off the words “Aspiring” and wrote “Kick Ass” instead. She then told me I needed to own it.
I almost died.
J. R. Ward called me a Kick Ass Author!
NOTE: I’m so mad at myself, though. I thought I saved the badge (who wouldn’t?), but when I looked for it so I could post a picture (Proof!), I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’ll keep digging, though.
I know that sounds more like a fan-girl moment (and believe me, it totally was!) but as a writer it taught me a valuable lesson. You need to own what you do. No one else can define you. I’m an author because I think I’m an author. That’s also true for owning what I write. For the longest time when someone asked me what I write, I simply said “Young Adult Romance.” Which is true. I would hesitate, though, to add the Male/Male piece to it. Not because I was ashamed of what I wrote, but because I was afraid of how people would react. Then I realized, that attitude was a problem. If people who write LGBTQ fiction can’t be open about what they write, how can LGBTQ people be open about who they are?
Now, thanks a great deal to J. R. Ward’s advice, I’m proud to announce, I’m a kick ass author who writes LGBTQ Romance.
Because, really, you’ve got to own it. If you don’t, who else will?

I am completely speechless…well okay, I’m never completely speechless, but I am fan-girling right along side you, J. What an awesome experience that any author would be (and am) envious of! I’m gonna stick a post-it to my computer…I’m a kick ass author! (and hopefully I will own it with you *hugs*)
What's life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you're Sebastian Carlisle. He'll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.  
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes. 
Micah's got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can't let them down. Or at least that's what he tells himself. 
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah's family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he'll let him. 

Book two of Letting Go

67,000 words
Categories: New Adult, Romance, M/M Romance
Publisher: Carina Press

“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”
“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”
Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”
“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.
“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”
“I don’t—”
“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”
“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”
“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”
“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”
“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”

You can find Reckless Hope here:

Let’s talk about J. Leigh Bailey:
J. Leigh Bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She's a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character's name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.
Now she writes New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.

Find J. Leigh Bailey here:
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